With the publications of the National Science Education Standards (NSES), How People Learn (NRC, 2000), and How Students Learn Science (HSLS) (NRC, 2005), educators are developing inquiry strategies that are effective as well as engaging. Understanding the principles that are identified in these
publications enables the science educator to be more effective and to help students improve their understanding of science. The key to being an effective science educator is to understand how students learn
science. Knowledge of how students learn has raised the awareness to the forms of pedagogy that involves
inquiry. Educators are learning from research in the areas of neuroscience and education to improve their
skills in the classroom. Professional development at both the pre-service and in-service levels will enable educators to focus on student learning along with the pedagogy utilized.
Scientific literacy is a challenge for many high school students. In light of this difficulty, we created a course
combining biology and literature to offer to incoming high school freshmen. This paper presents some of the ideas and strategies that we have used over the last six years, as well as some of the challenges that we have faced. These ideas can be adapted for use in
a stand-alone classroom, or they can be used for cooperative projects between two different classrooms.
Published: 04/07/2011, Pages: 20--22
Keys to Improving Learning: Ways to Transform Teacher Performance
With the new advanced cognitive demands that are placed on today’s children, it is imperative that we advance the quality of instruction to meet these
higher demands. Proficient inquiry- based instruction provides one approach to begin to address these new challenges. Clear expectations are provided via EQUIP (Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol) to guide teachers in their transformation toward instructional practice that is more aligned with the new expectations provided by Common Core State Standards
for Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standard.
Published: 10/05/2012, Pages: 23--26
Making Math Matter: Project-based Learning in Mathematics
We examine key components of project-based learning(PBL) and explore how 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration are embedded in a sample Algebra 2 PBL unit. PBL related
resources are provided to inspire readers to design PBL units of their own.
Problem–based learning (PBL) engages first year high school chemistry students through meaningful context.
We designed a PBL lesson based on chemistry learners’ interests, curriculum standards and context.
The PBL project is a forensic chemistry unit, whereas,the students must be certified on various laboratory
techniques and then are given a crime scene to investigate as a team. The crime scene includes an unknown liquid, unknown white powder and an ink
sample to identify. Student teams then present their evidence and identity of the unknowns at a mock “court” day.
Published: 04/08/2011, Pages: 34--36
Beginning Secondary Science Teachers: Strengthening, Sustaining, or Sinking
Supporting beginning secondary science teachers is important if they are going to build their beliefs and pedagogical content knowledge. One way to support
beginning science teachers is through science-specific induction programs. In this chapter, a point is made about the need to support beginning science teachers. Then data are shared about the impact of a science-specific
induction program on the beliefs and PCK
of beginning teachers. From this data, it can be concluded that science-specific induction programs can help beginning teachers strengthen and sustain their beliefs and pedagogical content knowledge.Such programs keep them swimming, instead of sinking in their first years of teaching.
Published: 04/08/2010, Pages: 37--41
Math and Science Scholars (MASS) Program: A Model Program for the
Recruitment and Retention of Preservice Mathematics and Science Teachers
The shortage of certified teachers in mathematics and science in Texas classrooms is a major concern and
mirrors national trends. Dramatic increases in shortages of teachers have stimulated the design of new certification programs that recruit and place teachers in classrooms as quickly as possible (Texas Center for
Educational Research, 1999). While maintaining several of the characteristics of traditional certification programs, the Math and Science Scholars (MASS) Program streamlines the certification process, supports preservice students through tuition remission and scholarships, and provides quality mentoring and early field experiences in K-12 classrooms with well-qualified teachers. The strategies in this model program are dramatically increasing the numbers of
undergraudate majors in mathematics and science considering high school teaching as a career.
Published: 10/04/2012, Pages: 42
Practicing the Science of Culturally Relevant Mathematics Pedagogy:
Indeed, It Is Just Good Mathematics Teaching!
In this paper, the author provides counter-narratives of academically and mathematically successful male African- Americans as they recount specific pedagogical practices of teachers that were influential to their achievement in mathematics, and to their academic
success in general. The author connects the counternarratives to the propositions of culturally relevant
pedagogy to demonstrate that practicing the science of culturally relevant pedagogy is indeed just good mathematics teaching.
Published: 04/09/2010, Pages: 43-47
Tailoring STEM Instruction for Diverse Learners: What Matters Most?
This presentation focused on defining a three-tiered transformative approach to differentiating instruction for diverse learners, which includes changing the
organization of classrooms, improving the quality of learning activities, and creating a culture of recognition that respects all learners. Using supporting evidence from instructional coaching studies, this paper identifies challenges facing STEM teachers at each
tier of differentiation. While coached elementary and secondary teachers make significant gains in implementing
this approach to differentiation, STEM teachers, in particular, make significantly less growth and less consistent growth. Implications for increasing STEM teachers’ knowledge and skills for differentiating instruction for diverse learners are addressed.
Published: 10/05/2012, Pages: 49--54
Preparing Excellent STEM Teachers for Urban and Rural High-Need Schools
Our nation’s teachers and students benefit when STEM content and research skills are grounded in Project Based Inquiry (PBI)—an approach to teaching
science that focuses on authentic problem solving and turns students into citizen scientists by bringing
relevance and meaning to the classroom and beyond. Research has shown that educators exposed to PBI principles through professional development opportunities are likely to successfully implement inquiry-based
practice in their science classrooms. This paper highlights a PBI-focused professional development workshop presented at the 2012 Midwest Noyce
Regional Conference in Indianapolis. It summarizes the main tenants and current literature on PBI as it relates to teacher professional development and
student learning, presents a PBI curriculum template for instructors, and discusses common challenges and
strategies for optimizing project-based learning principles and practices in science classrooms today.
Published: 10/05/2012, Pages: 55--59
The DUETS Program: Highly Effective Urban STEM Teachers
The DUETS Programs was built upon the foundation of two other highly successful programs aimed at recruiting STEM teachers and recruiting and
retaining preservice teachers of color and teachers of color. EMU’s Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience(CSIE) Program, an NSF-funded STEP initiative
and the Minority Achievement, Resiliency, and Success (MARS) Program combined to support the preparation of STEM teachers for urban schools.
The merging of these two programs led to the creation of a comprehensive support system that follows DUETS scholars through preservice into 5 years of teaching. The result has been STEM teachers who are highly effective in urban schools who continue to
receive support into their novice years of teaching.
Published: 10/04/2012, Pages: 9-19
Relevant Legal Information for Public School Teachers
This paper presents the findings of a study involving
the legal literacy of undergraduate students enrolled in a school law course designed for pre-service teachers. The researcher conducted this study in order to evaluate her students’ growth and interest in the topic. She was most concerned if students learned the course content and which specific topics students found to be most relevant to their future roles as teachers. Data was collected over six semesters. There were 782 students who completed a survey and 30 who were later selected to participate in more in-depth focus groups. The findings suggest that pre-service teachers increased their knowledge about legal issues and that they considered the several legal topics covered in the course relevant to their future teaching careers.